June 28, 2007 Notes: Akorn Signs Supply Agreement with Cipla, Catalent Launches as Independent Company, More

June 28, 2007
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Akorn, Catalent, Novo Nordisk, more

Company Notes

Buffalo Grove, IL (June 21)-Akorn, Inc. signed an exclusive drug development and supply agreement with Cipla, Ltd. (Mumbai, India) for an oral abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) drug product for the prevention of organ transplant rejection. Under the terms of the agreement, Cipla will develop, manufacture, and supply the drug product, and Akorn will conduct the bioequivalency clinical trial, ANDA regulatory submission, and marketing and distribution in the United States. Akorn expects to launch the product in late 2009.

Cheshire, CT (June 22)-Alexion Pharmaceuticals inaugurated its first manufacturing plant in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Alexion acquired the plant from Dow Chemical (Midland, MI) and invested $47 million. To staff the new facility, the company has expanded its workforce by more than 100 employees.

Los Angeles, CA (June 20)-Auriga Laboratories, Inc. formed a new division, Advanced Topical Solutions (ATS Pharmaceuticals). ATS will focus on gastroenterology and dermatology.

Bubendorf, Switzerland (June 20)-Bachem renewed its supply agreement with AstraZeneca (London) for goserelin, the active substance in AstraZeneca's oncology medicine "Zoladex." Bachem has supplied AstraZeneca with goserelin for more than 15 years. The new agreement runs for a further five years.

Somerset, NJ (June 21)-Catalent Pharma Solutions, formerly Cardinal Health Pharmaceutical Technologies and Services, was officially launched as an independent company. Catalent was acquired by The Blackstone Group in April 2007. Th ecompany provides technology, development, manufacturing, and packaging solutions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and consumer healthcare companies.

Toronto, ON, Canada (June 14)-Contract pharmaceutical manufacturer Dalton Pharma Services entered into a long-term manufacturing services agreement with X-GEN Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Big Flats, NY). Dalton will fill-and-finish sterile commercial products for X-GEN.

Houston, TX (June 25)-Encysive Pharmaceuticals Inc. is restructuring in order to refocus its resources. The company will reduce its US workforce by approximately 70% and eliminate the position of chief operating officer.

Paris (June 18)-Groupe SNPE sold its American subsidiary Isochem, Inc. (Lockport, NY) to Buckingham Capital Partners II, LP. Isochem manufactures phosogene derivatives used as intermediates for the fine chemicals market. The company will be renamed VanDeMark Chemical Inc.

Palo Alto, CA and Santa Clara, CA (June 26)-Intradigm Corp. selected Agilent Technologies Inc. to manufacture the active small interfering RNA (siRNA) component of its RNAi therapeutic, ICS-283. Agilent will manufacture the siRNA material to support clinical development of ICS-283. ICS-283 is a nanoparticle-based siRNA that targets the vascular endothelial growth factor factor.

Chineham, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK (June 20)-Shire plc will acquire the exclusive development rights to "Daytrana," Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s (Miami, FL) new transdermal patch for ADHD. Daytrana was developed and is manufactured by Noven, and was launched by Shire in June 2006. As part of the agreement, Shire made a $5.9-million milestone payment to Noven.

Princeton, NJ (June 25)-Novo Nordisk opened its newly expanded manufacturing facility in Clayton, North Carolina. The $100-million, 200,000-ft2 facility will produce Novo's prefilled insulin pen. This is the second time in three years the facility has been expanded. The current expansion has created 50 new jobs in Clayton.

St. Louis, MO (June 19)-Sigma-Aldrich launched "ChemDose," a compound handling technology that enables easy delivery of reagents and catalysts in tablet form. ChemDose, which was codeveloped with Reaxa, Ltd. (Manchester, UK), involves the absorption of reagents into an inert tablet matrix. When it is exposed to solvents, the reagents dissolve out, leaving behind an insoluble tablet.

People Notes

Houston, TX (June 25)-Encysive Pharmaceuticals, Inc. promoted George W. Cole to president and chief executive officer. Cole has served as the company's chief operating officer since November 2005. He previously was president of Altana Pharma US.

Richmond, VA (June 25)-Insmed Inc. named Steve Glover president of the company's newly formed follow-on biologics business. Glover will lead the development of Insmed's follow-on biologics capability and its portfolio of biogeneric and biosimilar products. He previously served as senior vice-president and general manager at Andrx Laboratories and Andrx Therampeutics. He also has held multiple roles at Hoffman LaRoche, Amgen, and IMS Health.

Cambridge, MA (June 26)-Lisa Everen joined Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as senior vice-president and chief financial officer. Everen was previously vice-president and treasurer of Amgen, Inc.

South Plainfield, NJ (June 26)-PTC Therapeutics, Inc. appointed Manal Morsy, MD, PhD, vice-president of regulatory affairs. In this capacity, Morsy will lead PTC's regulatory affairs activities. Morsy joins the company after spending three years at Tibotec/J&J, most recently as senior director of global regulatory affairs.